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Homepage. This page: Classic pre-war Opel cars built from 1937 to 1940, inc. the Russian-built Moskvitch 400.

The 1937-1940 Opel Olympia OL38.

In 1937 the Olympia OL38 range took over from the previous Opel Olympia first introduced in 1935. The OL38 was available as the LZ (two door, four light saloon), the LV (four door, six light saloon) or the CL (two door, four light cabriolet). The first car to feature on this page looks like a six light saloon, ie an Olympia LV.

Enter the Moskvitch 400....

John's been in touch, with some extra details on this car, not least advising that it is in fact a Moskvitch, built using Opel tooling, as he now explains ...
The other Olympia isn't one at all -- it's a Moskvitch 400, built by the Russians after they dismantled the Opel tooling and took it to Moscow as war reparations. This identification would be supported by the starting-handle hole -- Russian cars habitually had starting-handles long after they disappeared in the West -- and the Russian registration. As far as I am aware, only the 4-door saloon was made by the Russians. By all accounts, it was a truly dreadful car; the ill-fitting bonnet seems to have been characteristic of the thing. The car in the background is a Moskvitch 402, the replacement for the 400, introduced in 1956."
Opel OL38 Olympia
The Olympia OL38 was produced from 1937 through to 1940 in these three guises. After the war, production of the two door saloon (only) resumed, albeit only from 1947 to 1949. The following year saw the new Opel Olympia 1950 make its debut. As already mentioned, Moskvitch (Moskovsky Zavod Malolitrazhnykh Avtomobiley, or Moscow Compact Car Factory also produced their own version of the OL38 following WW2.

The Opel Olympia CL Cabriolet.

This next old photo is quite unusual in that it features the stylish CL Cabriolet version of the Olympia, a model produced prior to the war only. It was of four-light design, ie with two side windows on either side, over which rolled the fabric roof. This example looks to be in good order, and still sports a cover in the front bumper for the starting handle hole, something no longer fitted to the Olympia shown above. Regarding this car, John believes that it was registered in "... Carinthia (Austria) -- very likely in the regional capital, Klagenfurt -- after the Anschluss of 1938". Thanks John.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Opel Olympia OL38 cabriolet
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